Survivor Match #1 – Team Macho Man (Macho Man, Ricky Steamboat, Brutus Beefcake, Jim Duggan, Jake Roberts) vs Team Honky Tonk (Honky Tonk Man, Harley Race, Hercules, Ron Bass, Danny Davis)
Finally, after covering three separate Wrestlemania’s, we get to recap the first Survivor Series. This was originally held on Thanksgiving Day (in the US) and I’m really looking forward to it. The rules are simple, there’s two teams of five superstars that face off against each other (ok, maybe like 4 superstars and a token ‘first to get tossed out filler’).
If a participant gets eliminated then another team member gets in the ring until that team is completely eliminated. First to eliminate all participants on the other team wins the match.
You’re probably asking what counts as an elimination? I’m glad you asked, and if you didn’t, you should have because this is 1987. Don’t presume you know all the rules based on watching some Survivor Series PPV’s in the last few years! A wrestler is eliminated based on one of the following reasons:
1) Pinfall – pretty straight forward
2) Submission – they have to tap out or pass out
3) Count Out – they don’t get back in the ring after a count of 10 – yes it’s a real 10 count, not a slow 10 count that lasts 45 seconds
4) Disqualification – pretty much doing something that the ref doesn’t like or if you keep doing something after he tells you to stop
5) Unable to continue to compete due to injury at the discretion of the ref – yep, the ref can just decide that someone can’t continue – bet you didn’t know this one!
The best part about survivor series matches is that the momentum doesn’t really waiver, there’s enough guys in and around the ring that there’s always something to watch and keep you entertained.
Elimination 1: Harley Race / Hacksaw Jim Duggan double count out
I despise both these morons. I am so glad they get eliminated early.
Elimination 2& 3: Ron Bass eliminated by Brutus Beefcake / Beefcake gets eliminated by Honkey Tonk
Continuing on with four wrestlers a side, Macho Man and Brutus the Barber Beefcake team up to eliminate Ron Bass (again someone else that no one cares about) when Beefcake hits him with a high flying knee and a quick pin for the 3 count. Beefcake gets rewarded for that victory when the Honky Tonk man nails his Shake Rattle and Roll finisher to even the odds back at 3.
What I find jarring about this whole thing is Ricky Steamboat wrestling beside Macho Man. It’s a mere 6 months after Wrestlemania, and only 2 days in my own real viewing time. Macho literally tried to murder Steamboat half a year ago and now they’re partners.
Elimination 4 & 5: Jake Roberts eliminates Danny Davis / Macho Man eliminates Hercules
Still with me? It’s at this time in the match that Jake the Snake Roberts enters and the crowd goes absolutely nuts – the decibel level in the arena seriously goes up a notch. He screws around for awhile and then hits Danny Davis with the sweet, sweet DDT
Next, Hercules comes in and gets eliminated by Macho Man (oh yeah he’s in this match). The crowd applauds, but not standing in their seats applause, more like a yeah this is good but it’s not “Jake the Snake Roberts good” applause.
Elimination 6: Honkey Tonk says “fuck this”
Honky Tonk man finally gets fed up for all the love that Roberts is getting, so he just walks out of the ring, grabs his IC title and heads to the back getting himself counted out.
To summarize, team Macho Man ends up with only 2 guys getting eliminated while taking out the team led by the Honky Tonk Man and Survivor Series is well on its way.
Overall: A pretty satisfying opening match to Survivor Series. 6 / 10
Survivor Match #2 – Women’s Match: Team Moola (Moola, Rockin’ Robin, Velvet McIntryre, Jumping Bomb Angels) vs Team Sherri (Sensational Sherri, Glamour Girls, Donna Christianello, Dawn Marie)
I don’t normally watch women’s matches and this one is no except…. ah, never mind. If I skip this, the review will be too short.
Elimination 1: Donna Christianello eliminated by Velvet McIntyre
We get off to a roaring start with Velvet going to work early on Team Sherri. This match is full of many hair pulling flips and running clotheslines early on and those thunderous moves are echoing throughout the stadium – echoing because most of the fans are outside taking a smoke or lining up for more beer and nachos. (I wonder if they sold Nacho Man hats full of Nachos like Homer Simpson had. Man, now I really want some nachos). Finally after some brief moments of actual athleticism from the Bomb Angels, we have our first elimination – Donna Christianello courtesy of Velvet.
Elimination 2 through 5:
Dawn Marie elimnated by Rockin’ Robin
Rockin’ Robin elimnated by Sensational Sherri
Fabulous Moolah eliminated by Judy Martin
Sensational Sherri eliminated by Velvet McIntyre
Velvet McIntyre eliminated by Leilani Kai
After 5 minutes of watching this match I am having a really hard time getting past the outfits that the glamour girls are wearing. Gold and Black with a little heart – I don’t know why but it’s just hideous. I’m surprised.
The hair doesn’t help either. I could overlook some of this if the match itself was actually any good. Moola should never have been in this match as any momentum comes to a grinding halt when she gets involved and I’m pretty sure Rockin’ Robin was just one of costume girls in the back that they threw in the ring.
The fact that she has no muscle definition or actual wrestling skills is surprisingly keeping my attention just to see if she will get seriously injured – but no, the WWF had one job and they screwed that up. She actually eliminates someone and then get’s eliminated herself from a normal suplex – good job… said no one ever!
Elimination 6 /7 : Leilani Kai and Judy Martin eliminated by the Bomb Angels
The only entertaining part of this match (aside from writing this kick ass review) is the Jumping Bomb Angels. They display some nice agility and pull off some decent moves while just screaming incoherently the whole time. In the end they manage to get the teams down to a classic 2 on 2 tag match with the Bomb Angels and the Hideous Glamour Girls facing off before the Bomb Angels manage to drop some high risk moves off the top rope to pick up the victory.
The real highlight of the night is when one of the Jumping Bomb Angels actually drop kicks Jimmy Hart off the apron. The guy literally falls backwards so that his head would hit the floor first a la pile driver style. I’m sitting here wondering if he’s unconscious, dead, paralyzed and really if they cut to another match or promo I could have been left with my own imagination and come up with tons of scenarios but no, he just gets up and walks away. Sigh.
Overall: 3/10 but only because Jimmy Hart broke his neck
Survivor Match #3 – Tag Team Match: The Killer B’s, The British Bulldogs, Strike Force, The Young Stallions, The Rougeaus vs. The Islanders, The Dream Team, The Bolsheviks, The Hart Foundation, Demolition
This match is a 5 on 5, tag team event – 10 tag teams, 20 men. If one member of the tag team get pinned (or equivalent) then the whole team is out. Narratively, I have no insight into what has happened in the 6 months since Wrestlemania 3 since we’re only watching the Pay Per Views. I am confused on a few points:
– The Bolsheviks? What happened to the Iron Sheik?
– Strike Force? Wasn’t Rick Martel just in the Can Am Connection? Did he drop Tom Zenk already? He barely gave him a chance!
Elimination 1: Bolsheviks eliminated by flying forearm from Tito
The match kicks off and the Bolsheviks are eliminated pretty quickly with a beautiful flying forearm by Tito. That move is spectacular. The action continues through a series of quick tags and the crowd is pretty quiet through the whole thing. You know what, maybe they can’t see the action with that many guys around the ring.
Elimination: Jaques Rougeau gets eliminated by Ax after missing a move like a moron
I find it very fitting that the Rougeau Bro gets eliminated by being terrible. It’s appropriate, because the Rougeaus are also terrible. To be clear, the Rougeaus are sometimes randomly terrible, but at other times, they’re specifically terrible. Anyway, Frenchie misses a move and Ax capitalizes. We’re 6 minutes into the match and I’m underwhelmed.
Elimination 3: Smash (Demolition) eliminated by randomly assaulting the ref
We keep going, and the match so far is mostly just punching and tags, punching and tags, punching and tags. Paul Roma is in there a lot, and that guy has no idea how to sell a move. It looks like wrestling a log.
Out of nowhere, Ax is eliminated for assaulting the ref, for no apparent reason. That was really clumsy. I’m not even sure the crowd gets what happened.
Elimination 4: Tito (Strike Force) eliminated by pin from Bret
11 minutes into the match and Bret Hart finally enters the ring. This is another very abrupt elimination that I had to rewind to figure out what happened. Neidhart gets nailed with Tito’s flying forearm. Tito goes in for the pin and Bret breaks the count. Then <scene deleted> and Strike Force is eliminated. Weirdly shitty camera cuts prevent me from seeing what actually happened.
Elimination 5: Dynamite Kid (British Bulldogs) taken down by massive kick from Haiku
Now comes the dark period of this match. 10 incredibly dull minutes where nothing of any consequence happens. Holy moly, this is a really uneven, boring event. Eventually Dynamite headbutts Haku, which leads to Haku kicking him in the face, followed by the pin. Makes sense.
Elimination 6: Valentine (Dream Team) eliminated by Sunset Flip from Paul Roma
It’s at this point I realized that Dino Bravo and Valentine have barely been in this, nor have the Killer Bees. It’s a ton of Young Stallions though. That has to be just about one of the worst names because it’s so obviously the name of a gay porno which makes talking about them awkward. I’m not even joking, click here to buy the video from http://www.buygay.com. And now I need to explain to my wife why I’m browsing gay videos.
Just to be clear, I have no problem with the porno being gay, just that it’s so obviously a porno name. It would be like a female tag team called the “Slut Hungry Dykes” or “Cum Addled School Sluts”. I would absolutely watch that team perform, so maybe Vince knows exactly what he’s doing.
Anyhow! It’s actually a great Sunset Flip off the top rope to eliminate the Hammer
Elimination 7: Bret (Hart Foundation) eliminated by Killer B through a series of absurd circumstances
Another pretty dull stretch of wrestling. The time between these pins is really tedious. Eventually the Hart Foundation are eliminated by a weird move where Niedhart ends up drop kicking a killer B who ends up on top of Bret for the pin. Honestly, it’s a weird finish. The crowd hardly reacts.
Elimination 8: Islander eliminated by Killer B through another series of absurd circumstances
You know, this whole match feels like it was set up to put over the Cock-Starved Young Stallions. Now we just have the Islanders left and another tedious 6 minutes of wrestling. You’d think they’d use the momentum to slip in a quick pin, but not. They just. Keep. Wrestling.
The match finally ends when the killer B’s throw on their masks and make themselves indistinguishable to the refs. The illegal man comes into the ring without the tag, gets the quick pin with a move off the ropes and it’s all over.
Overall: This match was pretty terrible and uneven. 0 / 20
Survivor Match #4 – Team Andre (Ravishing Rick Rude, King Kong Bundy, “The Natural” Butch Reed, One Man Gang, Andre The Giant) vs. Team Hogan (Ken Patera, Bam Bam Bigalow, Paul Orndorff, Don Moraco, Hulk Hogan)
Well I’m confused again. When did Paul Orndorff and Moraco become good guys? I don’t remember Moraco ever turning face. This is the problem with only watching the PPV’s, there is a ton of stuff I don’t remember.
Here’s something else – Bundy and One Man Gang are exactly the same size. In fact, they might be the same person. When Bundy needs to wrestle as One Man Gang, he just straps a mowhawk to his head. I’m positive this is the case. Just consider – when have you ever seen them in a match together?
Elimination 1: Hogan eliminates Butch Reed
Jesus Christ, “The Rock” Don Moraco is just jacked. What is it with guys named the Rock?
The match starts off with a bunch of tags and guys jumping in and out of the ring. Rick Rude gets beaten up for awhile and the crowd is on their feet as the intensity and excitement of this match is ramped up to 10+. For example, Bam Bam presses Rude, which is… really surprising. I didn’t think Bam Bam had it in him.
Then Ken Patera tags in and the crowd sits back down and goes to the concession for Nacho hats. Butch reed comes in, things happen, Hogan drops the leg and we have our first elimination of the match. That was a great start – tons of power moves, lots of action.
Take note, horrible Tag Team match that has already happened.
Elimination 2: One Man Gang eliminates Ken Patera
Andre comes in to take care of business and starts off against Ken Patera. This doesn’t even need a snappy analogy – this matchup is exactly as lopsided as Andre The Giant fighting Ken Patera. Andre says fuck this and in comes Bundy. More offense from Team Hogan and we have some back and forth from the group. Eventually Patera ends up with One Man Gang and the crowd starts chanting. I honestly can’t make out what they’re saying – it sounds like “Front Face Lock” which is exactly the move Gang is giving Patera. That.. that can’t be right?
Regardless, none of this is particularly helpful to K.P. Eventually the Gang more or less falls on Patera and gets the pin. Front Face Lock indeed.
Elimination 3 & 4 & 5: Rick Rude eliminates Paul Orndorff / Moraco eliminates Rick Rude / One Man Gang eliminates Moraco
The next few eliminations happen in pretty quick succession. These guys are doing a fantastic job keeping the energy up. The crowd is on their feet for most of the match and the pace is pretty frantic. Rude and Orndorff square off for a bit, and Rude nails him with a small package. Hogan jumps in to keep the fight going and him and Moraco take turns beating on Rude like he was Danny Davis. Moraco hits Rude with a power slam for the pin and we’re down to 3 on 3. Moraco keeps going against Bundy before mixing it up with One Man Gang. Moraco goes for the slam, can’t pull it off and gets pinned.
Elimination 6: H.. Hogan?
Next up is the fat battle, with Gang and King Kong taking turns putting it to Bam Bam.
They can’t bring in Andre because he can barely move. Bam Bam carries the match by himself, just acting as a throw cushion for the beating he’s taking. Finally Andre comes in, misses a move and the tag is made to Hogan. The crowd explodes as WM3 repeats itself. Hogan beats up everyone before being pulled out of the ring by Bundy. More mayhem ensues with Hogan slamming both Bundy and One Man Gang before getting counted out of the ring.
The crowd is not happy.
Elimination 7 & 8: Bam Bam eliminates Bundy and One Man Gang.
It’s just Bam Bam vs. everyone. I did not see this coming. Bam Bam does what he can to keep the momentum going by eliminating Bundy, but it just takes too much out of him. Gorilla is in on the gag too, and says “One Man Gang having a field day.. as Bam Bam is wide open”.
Jokes aside, I’m really impressed by Bam Bam’s performance this match. I was always indifferent to him, but this bout may have changed my mind. He is doing a great job carrying the action. One Man Gang misses off the top rope (which is an odd sentence to type) and Bam gets the cover. Holy shit! It’s Bam Bam vs. Andre! This going to be….
Elimination 9: Andre wins!
… over in 2 minutes. This isn’t much of a surprise. Bam Bam is pretty exhausted at this point and Andre can barely move, so the end comes quickly. Andre does some weird combination side suplex / arm bar / collapse for the pin.
To the surprise of no one, Hogan runs back into the ring, chases Andre out and then poses for a bit.
Overall: I was pleasantly surprised by this match. 9/14